Wedged early in NBC’s TCA day Saturday was an informal CNBC pitch for “The Profit” (July 30, 10p), a fix-it reality series the net and its star claim is different. The series tasks business whiz Marcus Lemonis to help repair small companies that are failing. An entrepreneur who owns Camping World, Lemonis applies a traditional formula of people, process and product.

The twist in this series is that millionaire Lemonis becomes a true partner with the businesses and invests his own money in them. “I put in $1mln and I hope to make $10mln,” he told us at breakfast. “But sometimes I lose [money],” he admits.

For this first season CNBC scoured the country for businesses. They also had to be consumer-facing enterprises and alcohol-free, Lemonis explained. Regarding the use of his own money, Lemonis said, “Look, I didn’t want to do a show that about a quick fix, like some other shows… and I didn’t want theatrics or shocks.” This is CNBC, he said; it reports about business, so “integrity is important” and it’s important to show real fixes.

At the end of each episode “you’ll know what happened to the business… you won’t need to go on the Internet and research” how the business has fared, he said. And what mistakes do small businesses make often? “It’s not so much particular mistakes,” he said, “but I find that in my people, process and product formula, you can fix process and product. People are the most important part of a business. If I don’t like the people, I won’t agree to fix that business.”      

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